Aerospace & Defence

Cargo eVTOL draws inspiration from Formula 1

2nd May 2023
Paige West

MGI Engineering has initiated its UAV technology demonstration programme. During the eVTOL Insights' London Conference on April 19th, 2023, MGI CEO and Founder Mike Gascoyne presented the fully operational technology demonstrator.

By entering the emerging cargo eVTOL industry, the engineering consultancy firm is set to introduce innovative ideas and strategies for developing cutting-edge aerospace technology for these unique vehicles.

Drawing inspiration from Formula 1 development philosophies, MGI is committed to offering a fresh perspective to the cargo eVTOL UAV market. Key components of its approach include lightweight composite structures and efficient, iterative design processes, which it will utilise to address the challenges facing the cargo eVTOL industry. The firm aims to provide comprehensive consultancy services to companies operating within this field.

Over the past year, MGI Engineering has focused on creating cargo eVTOL technologies to offer to other industries. The result of its efforts is the Mosquito autonomous technology demonstrators, designed specifically for cargo applications. These vehicles serve as a representation of MGI's expertise and strategy for the cargo UAV market.

To ensure aerial vehicles can effectively and efficiently accomplish their missions, it is crucial to develop structural composite designs that are ultra-lightweight. MGI's approach involves a customisable design that includes two versions of its demonstrator technology. The first configuration is a tilt rotor design with two rotors on each corner capable of tilting up to 45° in both the forward and rearward directions. The second configuration features eight rotors with direct drive motors distributed across four wings, all utilising MGI's tilt mechanism for pitch and roll control. This version can take off vertically and seamlessly transition to winged flight for long-distance missions.

By adopting a modular approach, this vehicle can be customised based on the specific mission profile by configuring wings and rotors. This enables the creation of scalable common platforms that utilise standardised battery modules, resulting in cost-effective solutions for cargo delivery in terms of distance travelled. Moreover, the vehicle platform concept has been designed to facilitate efficient scaling-up to payload-capable vehicles that can transport up to 500kg. These platform sharing solutions draw inspiration from Gascoyne’s experience in working with the automotive industry over the course of his career.

Mike Gascoyne, CEO of MGI Engineering, said: “We are really proud to announce our cargo eVTOL technology demonstrator programme at this year’s eVTOL Insights’ Conference. We believe that developing sustainable electric aviation vehicles combined with our unique expertise and experience from Formula 1 of lightweight hybrid composite vehicles is the future of the transport industry and will ease the strain on current methods whilst decarbonising multiple sectors. We are very happy to have a fully working demonstrator vehicle that has passed all our tests to date including fully transitioning from vertical to horizontal flight. We’re excited to see where our development journey takes us and look forward to solving the unique and novel challenges the industry presents us with. We also want to invite clients, partners, and investors to join our vision to develop highly efficient cargo UAV solutions. MGI Engineering, as a cargo eVTOL consultancy service, understands in order to bring aerial vehicles successfully to market requires a multi-disciplinary team across multiple industries.”

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